Sarah Jessica Parker Likens Dating Robert Downey Jr. to Parenting a Teenager
By Ron Galella/Getty Images.
Remembering that Sarah Jessica Parker and Robert Downey Jr. dated for seven years is like that scene from Father of the Bride where George (Steve Martin) meets his daughter’s in-laws in their giant, imposing house. Offering him directions to the bathroom, the mother says,”It’s the seventh door on the left.” He clarifies, “Second?,” because there’s no way there could be that many doors. She answers definitively, “Seventh.”
There’s no way America was treated to seven years of a Parker-Downey relationship. Two, maybe. But seven? Unconscionable. But, yes, there were seven years. From 1984, when they met on the set of Firstborn, to 1991. They broke up, per Downey, after years of dealing with his drinking and drug addiction. Downey recently told Howard Stern, “[Sarah and I] actually had a very conservative relationship considering the fact that she was normal, and I was out of my mind. I did the best I could.”
Robert Downey Jr., second from left, with Sarah Jessica Parker, second from right, in Firstborn, 1984.
People asked Parker to address the relationship with 25 years of perspective, and she compared it to parenting a teenage boy. “It taught me how I love,” she explained, “and what’s the difference between loving and taking care of people and what’s necessary and what grown-ups should and shouldn’t do for one other. And maybe it taught me a little bit about being a parent, too, because the things that I ended up caring about and the way I cared for Downey, were things that might be more suitable for a parent.”
In a way,” she continued, “I’m asking myself those same questions now—I have an almost 14-year-old—so what I should and shouldn’t do for James Wilkie. Like at what point do I let him lose something? When do I say, You gotta lose it in order to understand how to even cope. How are you going to develop your coping mechanisms if I’m fixing and when as a parent do I let go? When do I let go in a relationship? So I think I learned a lot about it. You don‘t know you’re learning about it when you’re in it. You’re just in the day-to-day, caring about someone and loving them, and hopefully keeping them safe.
Unfortunately, there’s still no hard-and-fast manual for raising children and dating Robert Downey Jr.Read the full article here